Best Smartphone Of CES 2017: ASUS ZenFone AR

Congratulations ASUS on the ZenFone AR winning our award for Best Smartphone of CES 2017

CES was never going to be the place where many companies were likely to announce their latest and greatest smartphones. Especially considering Mobile World Congress (MWC) is only just around the corner. However, it seems few were expecting ASUS to announce what they did. A move which only added to the appeal of the announcement of the world’s first Tango-enabled and Daydream-ready smartphone, the ASUS ZenFone AR. Resulting in the ZenFone AR becoming one of the biggest talking points of the event and certainly our pick for Best Smartphone of CES 2017.

One of the most compelling aspects of the ASUS ZenFone AR is that this is a smartphone that is more than just specs on paper. Although, those listed specs are impressive in their own right and even without the additional-added value that is on offer with the ZenFone AR, this would still be a smartphone to be reckoned with in 2017. Which highlights just how impressive the ASUS ZenFone AR is shaping up to be already. This is a smartphone that is more than just the sum of its hardware.

Thanks to the inclusion of support for two of the currently most talked about industries, AR and VR, the ASUS ZenFone AR is a smartphone way above anything else that has been announced so far. Nearly all the major smartphones of 2017 will look to capitalize on either support for the augmented reality-focused Tango platform or the virtual-reality-focused Daydream platform, but few will likely cross the barrier and offer direct support for both. While early 2017 indications do suggests that most major smartphones will be Daydream-ready, due to the complex camera setup that is needed to really take advantage of Tango, it does seem likely that few smartphones will invest as heavily in Tango-enabling as they will with Daydream-enabling. With the ASUS ZenFone AR, the Daydream-ready aspect is almost a side note which is best observed through the naming chosen by ASUS. After all, this is the ASUS ZenFone AR and not the ASUS ZenFone VR. So it clear that ASUS is positioning this smartphones as an AR phone, more than a VR phone. In this sense, the VR aspect is almost just an additional feature. Which further shows the strength of the smartphone in general.

In terms of the rest of the specs, the ASUS ZenFone AR is a smartphone which comes equipped with a 5.7-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) display. Inside, the ASUS ZenFone AR comes loaded with 6GB RAM and 32GB storage. There will also be additional storage options available post-launch and even a version which comes equipped with 8GB RAM. Although some of these variants might only be available in select regions. Either way, all variants of the ZenFone AR will come powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor. The rear camera mainly consists of a a 23-megapixel camera (which comes with the additional sensors needed for Tango) and is accompanied by an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. This is a smartphone that is powered by a Quick Charge 3.0-supported 3,300 mAh battery, comes with USB Type-C connectivity and comes running on Android 7.0 (Nougat), the latest version of Android.

In terms of when you can pick up the ASUS ZenFone AR, the details on this are a little limited. During the big unveil, ASUS did confirm the ZenFone AR would become available sometime in Q2 of 2017. Although details beyond the second quarter of the year were not provided. Likewise, ASUS has yet to provide any details on the likely price of the ZenFone AR. Although, whatever price it does come to market at, this will be one worth considering picking up.

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About the Author

John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]